The Dental Board of Australia referred Dr Masters to the tribunal about his treatment of a patient from May 2007 to September 2010.
The tribunal found that Dr Masters had engaged in unprofessional conduct for failing to keep and maintain proper patient records and for not referring his patient to a specialist.
The tribunal reprimanded Dr Masters and imposed a $10,000 fine. The tribunal also imposed conditions on his registration, including:
- he do further training in the areas of patient records, and referring patients to specialists/other dentists
- the training must be with a senior dentist with recognised expertise in orthodontics or an orthodontist approved by the National Board and be done at Dr Masters’
- expense, and
- he submits to audits of randomly selected patient records.
Dr Masters conceded that his record keeping was deficient and agreed that he should have referred the patient for a second opinion when it became apparent that they were not responding to treatment as planned.
Dr Masters also conceded that his attempts to refer the patient to another practitioner in September 2010 should have occurred earlier.
In handing down its decision, the tribunal fined Dr Masters and stressed the importance of adequate record-keeping.
The tribunal noted that in December 2010, Dr Masters was cautioned, reprimanded and fined $25,000 for unprofessional conduct of a serious nature in relation to his treatment of a patient, including that he failed to maintain adequate and appropriate dental records.
In its decision, the tribunal aimed to deter Dr Masters and other dental practitioners from taking shortcuts in this area of their practice.
The tribunal ordered Dr Masters to undertake further training about the appropriate referral of patients to specialists or other dentists.
The reasons for the decision are available on the AustLII website.